God, Mystery, and Mystification
204 pages, 6.00 x 9.00
Hardcover | 9780268105976 | October 2019
eBook (Web PDF) | 9780268106003 | October 2019
eBook (EPUB) | 9780268105990 | October 2019
In God, Mystery, and Mystification, Denys Turner presents eight essays covering the major issues of philosophical and practical theology that he has focused on over the fifty years of his academic career. While a somewhat heterogeneous collection, the chapters are loosely linked by a focus on the mystery of God and on distinguishing that mystery from merely idolatrous mystifications.
The book covers three main fields: theological epistemology, medieval and early modern mystical theologies, and the relation of Christian belief to natural science and politics. Turner develops the implications of a moderate realist account of theological knowledge as distinct from a fashionable, postmodernist epistemology. This modern realist epistemology is embodied in connections between theoretical, speculative theologies and the practice of the Christian faith in a number of different ways, but mainly as bearing upon the practical, lived connections between faith and reason, between reason and the mystical, between faith and science, and among faith, prayer, and politics. Scholars and advanced students of theology, religious studies, the history of ideas, and medieval thought will be interested in this book.
Denys Turner is the Horace Tracy Pitkin Professor Emeritus of Historical Theology at Yale University and a lecturer in religion at Princeton University.
“I have learned much from this remarkable book by Denys Turner. God, Mystery, and Mystification displays Turner’s usual high quality and engaging, informal presentation. His approach is philosophical theology with mystical sources; the result is theology renewed. Each one of these chapters is a full-blown study as witty as it is profound: a valedictory tome of an accomplished master.”—David Burrell, C.S.C, Hesburgh Professor Emeritus, University of Notre Dame
“God, Mystery, and Mystification distills some of Denys Turner’s most essential insights into a few direct, untechnical meditations on classic texts and problems with their center of gravity in late medieval mysticism. Although originating largely from occasional papers, the chapters making up the book qualify each other and cohere into a unified composition through a number of connecting threads running from essay to essay. They meld together well in providing a reader-friendly introduction to negative theology not as an academic discipline but as a way of looking at certain of life’s pressing and yet unanswerable questions.”—William Franke, Vanderbilt University
"Denys Turner’s new collection of essays reveals a master teacher and writer at the height of his powers. Turner has aways shown an interest in music and its relation to theology. Reading these essays is like listening to a set of virtuoso variations on themes that are found throughout Turner’s writings: faith and reason; the apophatic and the cataphatic; love and wisdom; materiality and the body; politics in its deep integral sense; and the Eucharist. This book is a major addition to Turner’s distinguished list of publications." —Bernard McGinn, University of Chicago Divinity School
“The breadth of Denys Turner’s scholarship is on display in this collection of eight mostly unpublished essays, many delivered as lectures beginning in the 1980s. . . . [it] offers stimulating new angles on familiar themes in Turner’s work.” —Scottish Journal of Theology